Forums: Climbing Information: Technique & Training: Re: [granite_grrl] weight training for advanced climbing: Edit Log




Partner rgold


Feb 13, 2012, 8:51 AM

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Registered: Dec 3, 2002
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Re: [granite_grrl] weight training for advanced climbing
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G-Girl, the rubber bands are an interesting but seriously flawed idea. (And it is amusing to see Crossfit bursting through assisted pullup doors that have been open for fifty years or more.) The problem with the rubber bands is that they aren't adjustable. In order to get a range of resistances, you have to buy a range of bands, and there will inevitably be jumps in the amount of effort you have to supply when you go from one level of band to the next.

Of course, this makes good commercial sense---the consumer will need lot's of products, but even so it will be significantly less effective than tubing.

By contrast, latex surgical tubing (same material as the bands) clove-hitched to the bar is continually adjustable, and so allows you to make arbitrarily small fine-tuned adjustments to the amount of help you are getting. You can do the entire 10-rep, 5-rep, 3-rep cycle I described with the same piece of tubing tied up differently, whereas you'd need at least three different rubber bands to do the same thing and the gaps in resistance might never be right.

Edit: The bands are girth-hitched to the bar. You could get some adjustment by wrapping them around more than once, i.e. tying Prusik knots with more and more turns. I still think the tubing will work better, but maybe I'm just biased towards what I know.

A trick for keeping track of tubing lengths: install some pony-tail rubber bands on the tubing at the place where you are tying the clove-hitches. This gives you a consistent resistance level each time and helps you to fine-tune how much extra length to provide as you get stronger.

There is also a very minor body position trick to learn. You may find the tubing wants to pull your leg out in front of you, and if this happens you lose a lot of lifting effect. As you weight the sling you have to bring your leg back slightly behind the plane of your body to keep the tubing pulling up vertically.

I think the reason you are struggling with pullups is that, at your current level of strength, they are too hard. One to two reps is at or near your maximum strength, and trying to train at that level is going to injure you and probably won't get you very far.

You need a level of resistance that will enable you to do far more reps. My suggestion in the previous post is you want a base of five sets of ten reps (3 minute rest between sets) before moving on to higher intensities. Also, remember to train at a resistance level that doesn't hurt anything. If your elbows start to ache, rest, rehab, and then reset the tubing to give more help.

In order to start off at or near the ten-rep level, you may want to tie the tubing up so that it barely hangs any distance below the bar. The tubing can handle this; it will stretch way more than the two and a half times the Crossfit site claims. But it can be hard to get your foot in the sling when you are pulling against a lot of resistance. The solution is to stand on something, a chair, a box, a stool, step into the sling from a high position, and then lower down to a full hang.

I'm going to go out on a limb and say anyone who thinks that adding some strength in your case will be irrelevant to your climbing is oversold on the movement approach. Of course technique is far more important than strength, and of course people continually mistake the effects of bad technique for a lack of strength, but strength plays a role in difficult climbing and you are at a level where more strength is going to make a difference.

That said, if your hand endurance and finger strength decline as you build pullup strength, you will not notice climbing gains, and may very well feel you have lost something. Upper-body strength is useless if you can't hang on to apply it.

I used the same piece of tubing for more than 30 years. Over time, it got pretty chewed up. It abrades at the knots and where the sling is installed. I started to worry it might break, so finally bought another piece from http://www.reefscuba.com/surgical_tubing.htm
You might have to experiment with different sizes. I'd go with the biggest thing you can get in a 10 foot continuous length, which appears to be 1/2" OD 1/4" ID, catalog reference RS500-RA10, for $16 US.


(This post was edited by rgold on Feb 13, 2012, 8:56 AM)



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Post edited by rgold () on Feb 13, 2012, 8:56 AM


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